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Theobalds Farm

A Grade II Listed Building in Heathfield and Waldron, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9591 / 50°57'32"N

Longitude: 0.2489 / 0°14'56"E

OS Eastings: 558037

OS Northings: 120153

OS Grid: TQ580201

Mapcode National: GBR MRW.XCP

Mapcode Global: FRA C6DK.YLT

Plus Code: 9F22X65X+MH

Entry Name: Theobalds Farm

Listing Date: 5 September 2006

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391756

English Heritage Legacy ID: 495597

Location: Heathfield and Waldron, Wealden, East Sussex, TN21

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Heathfield and Waldron

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Heathfield St Richard

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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981/0/10060 TINKLES LANE
05-SEP-06 Theobalds Farm

House, formerly a farm. Of late medieval origin, altered in the early C17 and refronted in the C18. Refenestrated in the late C20 within earlier openings.
MATERIALS: A timberframed building, refronted in brickwork to the south western and north western sides, the south west side having a sandstone ground floor. Weatherboarded above and the north east side cement rendered on the ground floor and tile-hung above. Tiled roof, half-hipped at each end with central tall channelled brick chimneystack. Two storeys with attics in the gable ends. Four irregularly placed windows, mainly late C20 wooden casements of late C19 or early C20 type with some cambered heads to the ground floor.

PLAN FORM: Originally an open hall with service end to the north east and high end to the south west, adaped to form a lobby entrance house in the early C17.

EXTERIOR: The south east or entrance front has a deep plinth and the lower part of the wall is in English garden wall bond to the left side with Sussex bond above. The right side has Flemish bond diaper brickwork with grey headers of circa 1800. There are four irregularly spaced casement windows of two or four lights to the first floor and three to the ground flroor wih cambered heads. The front entrance is opposite the chimneystack and comprises a C20 wooden dorocase with moulded flat hood on brackets and plank door. The south west side has a very deep sandstone plinth and the ground floor is mainly of sandstone with the sides of brick, probably inserted when the timberframe to the ground floor front and the back walls were removed and the two long elevations replaced in brickwork. The ground floor retains an early C17 two-light mullioned window and a C20 casement. There are a further three C20 casements above. The north west side retains a sandstone plinth with English bond brickwork above. The upper floor has only two small casement windows on the first floor. The ground floor has three casement windows with cambered heads, but the right side window is adapted from a former doorcase, and the left side window and door combined was probably a window originally. There is a doorcase to the right with half-glazed door and to the extreme left is a C19 brick lean-to extension with slate roof. The north east side has no window openings and part of it is obscured by a c.1800 brick cart shed with tiled roof hipped to the north west built against it.

INTERIOR: The entrance lobby has a wall which is a mixture of English bond brickwork and massive sandstone blocks, one with a deep chamfer certainly reused. The room to the right of the central chimneystack has an open fireplace with chamfered wooden bressumer, probably reduced in length, and a ceiling with two chamfered spine beams. The north east wall of this room retains wide plank panelling with a beaded decoration in the centre of each plank. This appears to have been re-sited from the adjoining room to the south west where an empty groove survives adjoining the open fireplace and is probably the panelled partition to the dais of an open hall. The north eastern bay ground floor has a ceiling beam which has the grooves for a partition, probably the buttery and pantry formerly. A C20 staircase has been built at this end. The room to the south west of the central chimneytsack has a wide open brick fireplace with wooden bressumer retaining the imprint of a crane for supporting a cooking pot, a gabled salt hole and a bricked-up opening for a breadoven. Above the fireplace is a wide ceiling beam with a full length groove which probably originally held the panelled partition now in the adjoining room. The spine beam and ceiling beams are chamfered with lambs tongue stops. A recess has been carved out of one beam, possibly to accommodate a grandfather clock. The ground floor of this end of the house is one room but it may have been subdivided before. The end bay has a similar spine beam and floor joists to the other end of the room. The first floor retains visible jowled posts and two trusses with tiebeams and curved tension braces. One room retains a section of wattle and daub infill. The penultimate room to the south west has square framing to a partition wall, a central spine beam and was a heated chamber with a small fireplace with stone sides, narrow C17 bricks and a curved wooden bressumer. There is an original plank door with pintle hinges leading to a cupboard recess by the chimneystack and a further C19 ledged door. The room to the north east of the chimneystack has a truss with arched tension brace and both these rooms have wide floorboards concealed beneath the carpets. The roof structure is of staggered purlins with collar beams and an inserted ridgepiece. Some rafters appear smoke-blackened and are probably reused, the top of the chimneystrack is visible. There is also a lathe and plaster partition to the attic.

HISTORY: The building originated as a late medieval open hall house, and was adapted into a lobby entrance house in the early C17. The earliest known archive reference is of 1729 when the property formed part of an estate settled on the marriage of John Luck of Penshurst in Kent, Gentleman, with Ann Allen of Tonbridge, spinister. The building appears on a map of 1742 which shows John Luck's tanyard and a property named "Tibbald's". "Tibbalds" or "Theobald's" is shown with the facade of the house and barn. The brick refronting of the south east and north west fronts took place in the C18 probably by the date of this map. From the 1940s the farm was a chicken farm for a number of years during which time many windows were replaced with Crittall windows. It was then unoccupied for a number of years. When it was brought back into residential accommodation the Crittall windows were replaced by wooden casements of late C19 or early C20 type and a doorcase of C18 type inserted.

STATEMENT OF IMPORTANCE: A late medieval hall house, adapted into a lobby entrance house in the early C17 and refronted in C18 brickwork. Theobalds retains a significant proportion of its original fabric, possesses readable medieval and lobby entrance plan forms and many interior features of considerable interest, including the rare survival of a late medieval panelled partition.

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